World leaders are offering condolences and assistance to the victims of the hurricane that devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to President Bush expressing sympathy and confidence that under Mr. Bush's leadership the American people would respond with empathy to those in distress.  

A South Korean government spokeswoman said President Roh Moo-hyun, in a letter to President Bush, expressed concern for the damage and hopes for a speedy recovery.

The speaker of the Iraqi national assembly, Hajim Al-Hasani, expressed sympathy in a letter to U.S. lawmakers.  The White House today said Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin phoned President Bush to express condolences and offer help.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said a lot of nations have offered to help the United States, and Washington is open to all offers for assistance.

New Zealand, Russia and Venezuela are among the nations to volunteer assistance, although the U.S. State Department said Wednesday it was not aware of the offer from Caracas.